Stop the Debt Collection Harassment
Being a debtor can be emotional and difficult. A debtor is anyone who uses credit cards or owes money on a personal loan, on an automobile loan or to medical facilities. People who fall behind on repaying their debts may be contacted by a debt collector. In addition, errors are sometimes made on people’s accounts that can also lead to being contacted by a debt collector.
Because of the nature of their job, debt collectors can be quite aggressive. However, thanks to the law, specifically the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, there are certain acts and behaviors that are prohibited by debt collectors. Debt collectors are required to treat debtors fairly. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was approved on September 20, 1977. It is a consumer protection amendment that establishes legal protection for debtors from abusive debt collectors. Certain methods of debt collection are expressly prohibited.
Debts covered under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act include personal, family and household debts. This includes automobile loans, medical care debts and credit card debts. A debt collector is a person who collects debts on a regular basis, including attorneys who frequently engage in debt collecting. Debt collectors contact debtors in various ways. They may contact debtors in person, by mail, by telephone, by fax or by other legal means. Debt collectors are prohibited from contacting people before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. unless the debtor agrees. In addition, debt collectors are prohibited from contacting debtors at work if they know the employer does not want such contacts.
There are rules about validating the debt as well. The debt collector must send written notice within five days of contacting a debtor. The notice must include three items: the name of the creditor along with the amount of the debt, notice that the debt is valid if not disputed within 30 days and that if disputed, the debt collector will verify it and send a copy of the verification. Debt collectors must adhere strictly to the rules.
Once a debtor obtains a debt collector harassment attorney, the debt collector may only contact the attorney rather than the debtor. In addition, debt collectors are not allowed to tell anyone besides the debtor or the debtor’s attorney about the debt. Several types of debt collection practice are prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Debt collectors are not allowed to harass, meaning they cannot use threats of violence or abusive language. They cannot use the telephone to call someone repeatedly. They also cannot make false or misleading statements to collect a debt.
People who feel debt collectors have violated the law have recourse. They can hire a debt harassment attorney and sue in court within a year of the violation. It is possible in some cases for the debtor to win up to a thousand dollars in damages.
Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of a debt collection harassment attorney, but in the event that you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call at or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.